Tag Archives: Family

12 Things I love about my son

I get a bit teary sometimes when people ask me when I’m going to have my next child and I have to tell them I can’t have any more children. The loss of what might’ve been I feel acutely, but I know I am bloody lucky to have what I’ve got.

I creep into his room most nights to look at him, partly because he’s still for once and I can get a good look at him, partly because he looks so damn cute when he sleeps, and partly because I think it does me good to fill my heart full of love before I go to sleep at night. So with that in mind, here are 12 of the things I love about my son…

  1. I love the sound of my son yawning when he’s having his dream wee.
  2. I love the way he sleepily snuggles onto his dad’s shoulder when he’s carried back to bed, like the little boy he is and not the big boy he thinks he is.
  3. I love the way he wakes me up “like a princess”, which is to kiss me like Sleeping Beauty might be kissed by her handsome prince.
  4. I love the way he climbs into bed with me for ten minutes of putting stickers in his farm book before he goes to school.
  5. I love the way he shares things with us, breaking off a small piece of his toast for us and sharing every bag of sweets he gets.
  6. I love the way he stands with his hands on his hips, surveying the street like a tiny foreman, pointing out anything of interest “look mummy, a rubbish lorry”.
  7. I love his sleeping face, peaceful and angelic, still with the soft round cheeks of a small boy, framed by his long eyelashes a thousand girls will later envy.
  8. I love the way he slips his hand into mine when we walk together, his is so warm and soft and he doesn’t mind me squeezing it as I try to burn the memory of his little hand into my mind.
  9. I love the way he loves music, asks for it to be turned up and rocks out whenever he has the chance.
  10. I love reading with him, baking, making crafts and drawing. I love talking about our days and about all of the things in our lives.
  11. I love how polite he is in company, how he will behave impeccably in a restaurant, how people say he’s a credit to us.
  12. I love learning about him. He’s good at counting, less good with phonetics, loves sport and is a bit obsessed with robots.

I love him. With all of my heart.

Of course there are things I don’t love. The rough play, the tantrums, the frankly gross habits I know I’ll be moaning about for the rest of my life. But I’m the mother of a boy, a beautiful, lively, intelligent, caring boy. And I wouldn’t swap him for the world.

things I love about my son

Happy Birthday to my little big man

My, how you’ve grown my little big man. You’re four years old today and absolutely, 100% the love of our lives. Don’t get me wrong kiddo, you can be a stubborn little handful (just like your Dad), but you are our most favourite child, our best friend, our reason for everything we do and we quite like having you around the place, despite all the mess, fuss and snotty cuddles.

Your birthday is always a time of reflection for me, about the year which has passed and all the years before then. I can’t help but think about our difficult start, but as the years go by that is vastly overshadowed by all our love, adventures and mischief we get up to as a family.

4th birthday

I still find it hard to believe we made such a beautiful creature. It was love at first sight. You were all dimples, squeezy cheeks and long eye lashes. You were and still are a pretty peaceful chap.

4th birthday

This was you on your first birthday. See, you’re still ALL dimples and cheeks. You loved opening your presents and we loved helping you. You were and still are a really happy little chappie. We still couldn’t believe our luck, we are so lucky to have you in our lives.

4th birthday

This is you on your second birthday. You’re all rosy cheeked because we’d been to a soft play centre for the afternoon, then stopped at TGI Fridays on the way home. You weren’t that keen on eating, but you enjoyed doing lots of drawing and stealing our chips.

4th birthday

Here you are, all dressed up for your third birthday party. You’re so grown up looking here, we’d had a really tough year as a family but your birthday was a real highlight for us. You even had a huge Thomas the Tank Engine cake.

4th birthday

This is you just a couple of days shy of your 4th birthday. We threw a train party at a local miniature railway. I think you had an amazing time, all your friends liked it too. What a year it’s been, you’ve started nursery at the big school and you’re growing into a proper boy and you’re no longer our woddling toddler.

Little Bee, my little big man, Happy Birthday, you are the love of our lives, the apple of our eye and you’ll always be our best friend. We love you, always have, always will xxx

You know you’re a parent when…

Fifteen ways you know you’re a parent… can you think of any more?

  1. Your bed is inexplicably full of Cheerios.
  2. You go to work with sudocrem on your trousers and when people point it out you say it’s bum cream, they recoil in horror and you have to point out it’s not your bum cream. This does not dispel the horror.
  3. Hot drinks are something you enjoyed in the past, a time long, long ago.
  4. You always have a biscuit and a used tissue in your pocket for emergencies.
  5. You stop using expensive face cream and use baby lotion instead.
  6. Boy toddlers leave puddles in the bathroom, so you’re always wearing at least one damp sock that smells a bit funny.
  7. You don’t need an alarm clock anymore. At 6am someone always wanders in, throws a toy car at your head and demands a snack. Now.
  8. You eat something involving pesto at least three times a week.
  9. In the shower you sing “Wind the Bobbin Up” instead of the indie classics from your youth.
  10. Getting everyone ready and leaving the house, having brushed your hair and ensuring everyone has shoes on in under an hour is an Olympian feat.
  11. The remote control has been through the washing machine twice and you still can’t find it.
  12. You spend 42% of your time winding toilet paper back onto the roll.
  13. Your car is full of raisins and you think the hamster might be nesting in there somewhere.
  14. Approximately 10 minutes after a successful bedtime you’re so exhausted you decide to turn in for the night. It’s 8.15pm.
  15. Your idea of tidying up is kicking all the toys out of the way to form a narrow path across the room.

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Meal Planning Monday w/c 10th February 2014

When my self-employed husband came home on Friday and announced he wouldn’t be able to pay himself for the next few weeks, I had horrible flashbacks of the time we didn’t have enough food or money to feed our son. But this time I was prepared.

I think we can ride out the next few weeks on the food I’ve been stockpiling in the freezer and pantry, yes we’ll need a few fresh items, but a few frugal weeks won’t do us any harm at all. We always meal plan, but this week I needed to be super organised. Challenge accepted.

What’s on our Meal Planning Monday Menu?

Monday – Homemade chorizo burgers, veg and couscous. I mixed up a mega-batch of these a few weeks ago and tucked some in the freezer for a rainy day, the couscous lives in the pantry. Sorted.

Tuesday – Pasta with homemade cheesy courgette sauce. Pantry and freezer to the rescue again.

Wednesday – Homemade pea and paneer curry with rice, just need to buy the paneer. Highlight of my week!

Thursday – Daddy’s homemade pizza and potato wedges. Yum.

Friday – Valentines Day tea, spaghetti vongole but without the vongole.

Saturday – Fajitias. Kit from the cupboard, quorn burgers sliced up with some veg, simple, tasty and fun.

Sunday – Whoopsie fishcakes, homemade potato wedges & peas.

Meal Planning Monday w/c 10th February 2014

We’ll manage, we always do. Just need to persuade the little lad that lentils can be fun. Wish me luck!

Bloggers Spa Day in Bolton

Since the age of 13 I’ve worked. Paper-round; Saturday jobs; stints in hellish kitchens; a great job as a Nanny. All that was pre-university. Post university, as a journalist, a manager in education, a lecturer and various jobs in what was the NHS. I’ve worked, I’ve known graft. I’ve done 20 hour days, I’ve got my hands dirty, rolled my sleeves up and got stuck in during a pandemic; I’ve done the lot. But I’ve never worked as hard as I have since I became a Mum.

Since then, through illness, infirmity, depression, and exhaustion, I’ve never had a day off. The hours are terrible and almost certainly in breach of EC Regulations, but the perks of the job are incredible. The pay is poor but it’s worth it for the cuddles. And to be honest, I’m getting used to the uniform (pjs splattered in various foodstuffs and bodily fluids).

I think it’s fair to say that recognition for my efforts isn’t officially rewarded, or at least wasn’t until I got an invite to a lovely, lovely spa day from Andrex. They have apparently done some research (and I’m paraphrasing and maybe making some of this up) and Mums are the unsung heroes of the household, we’re run ragged and we get lumbered with all the thankless tasks around the house. One of which is the changing of the empty toilet roll.

If I’m lucky, I mean very lucky a new toilet roll will appear within the vicinity of the toilet at some point, but rarely is it put on the holder. The boffins at Andrex call this “Rollaphobia” and I suspect it’s fairly widespread. To help ensure that this job doesn’t need to be carried out quite as often, Andrex has reinvigorated its Classic White product to make it stronger to last even longer. The theory being that you need to use less paper. Good plan Andrex!

To show off their new improved roll and show their appreciation for some of the hardworking Mums of the North, a merry gang of bloggers were invited to Mercure Bolton Last Drop Village Hotel and Spa on Saturday 30th November for a Spa day with a treatment thrown in. Rude not to I’d say, so off I went.

The Spa at the Mercure Bolton Last Drop Village Hotel is really quite lovely. I wasn’t sure what to expect as I’d only ever been to Spa days at Center Parcs before, but I was very presently surprised. We were given a tour of the facilities and straight away we all hopped into the hydro-pool which was divine, so warm, bubbly and therapeutic. It led outside to a lovely infinity pool (an infinity pool in Bolton, who knew) which had views over the countryside. It was really warm in the pool despite the fact we were teetering on the brink of December.

Infinity Pool.. don't mind if I do!

Infinity Pool.. don’t mind if I do!

There was a very nice 18ft swimming pool which I had to go in, I’m trying to get back into swimming again and I couldn’t resist the empty pool. I knocked out a few lengths and then explored the sauna and steam rooms.

It was soon time for my treatment. I’d opted for the Taste of Perfection facial which took 25 minutes. In the brochure it says “experience the world-renowned Decléor facials and enjoy the benefits of essential oils. This introductory facial is perfect when time is of the essence and the skin needs a radiant boost”. Sounds alright doesn’t it? In reality it was fantastic and I could very happily have let the lovely Leah (my beauty therapist), carry on for hours.

My skin looked and felt fantastic afterwards. Leah very kindly wrote down what she’d used so I could ask Father Christmas for some of my favourite things. To be honest, top of my list is another facial, it was so relaxing and I’ve not felt so pampered in years.

After my treatment I retired to the hydro-therapy and infinity pools and there I stayed until my boys turned up to drag me home, re-chain me to the kitchen sink and continue my days of domestic drudgery and cuddles.

Thank you Andrex for the pampering and the love and for working towards a cure for rollaphobia. Just need to stop them from peeing on the floor now.

Why I bottle fed my baby and have no regrets

When I was pregnant I’d always planned to breastfeed. I’d bought myself creams and pads and did all the boob massages beforehand to encourage milk flow and all that kind of thing. Being a realist and did buy a cheap set of bottles, a steamer and 48 hours worth of formula milk just in case. I thought they wouldn’t go to waste if I could express some milk. I knew my baby could be bottle fed breast milk by his Dad.

As it happened my boy was born early in traumatic style and I had a condition which made breastfeeding incredibly difficult. Together we spent a week in hospital. During those long, hard days every midwife for miles around tried to milk me, to no avail. Not a drop could be found. We collectively gave up and resigned ourselves to having a bottle fed baby.

Why I bottle fed my baby and have no regrets

I really don’t give a tuppenny cuss if parents choose to feed their baby by breast or bottle. It’s really no ones business but your own. As a parent you’ve got to go with what works best for you and your family. If you can’t breastfeed, even with experts on hand to help you, then there is no point at all beating yourself up about it. Parenting throws enough guilt and anxiety your way and it’s not worth getting het up over.

Yes, I totally get the breast is best argument. But I look at my nephew and my son who are only 6 months apart in age. My nephew was breastfed and my boy bottle fed and there is no difference. They are both lively, happy, engaging, intelligent boys. Both healthy, cheeky and thriving.

Breastfeeding is an emotive subject. Something which everyone has an opinion on and one which is a real parenting hot potato. For me as with most things, my attitude is do whatever you want, but don’t pour scorn on those who do things differently. That’s just good manners and respect.

How did you choose to feed your baby – breast or bottle fed and would you change anything?